Explanatory notes for Act 2, Scene 3
From As You Like It. Ed. Samuel Thurber, Jr. and Louise Wetherbee. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1922.
(Line numbers have been altered.)
Adam's unselfish loyalty to his young master has been anticipated in the first scene of the play. The two leave Oliver's
house with few regrets and look forward to a life of peace.
Line 4. memory: memorial. make: Cf. I. i. 27. Adam
is ever faithful to the memory of his old master.
7. fond: foolish.
8. bonny priser: big champion or wrestler. Note the haste
and excitement suggested by these questions.
11. graces: virtues. Them is, of course, not needed.
12. No ... yours: yours are of this sort.
15. envenoms: makes an object of hatred.
16. Orlando is naturally bewildered.
23. use: are accustomed to.
26. Did Adam listen or overhear accidentally? practices:
27. place: no place to live. butchery: a slaughter-house.
Keep in mind the expression on Orlando's face and his action as
well as that of Adam.
31-34: What is suggested as the only means of livelihood
left to Orlando? Note his excitement. How is it shown?
37. diverted: unnatural here.
39. thrifty hire: wages saved by thrift.
42. What picture do you get here?
43-46: Cf. Luke xii. 6 and 24. What does this prove about
Shakespeare and his knowledge of the Bible?
46. Here ... gold: What action?
47-66: An unusual attitude of preaching on Shakespeare's
part, but it comes well through Adam.
66-62: Orlando has good reason to be critical of the period in
which he lives. It is interesting to note, however, that each
generation feels practically the same way.
58. meed: reward.
68. in lieu of: in return for. husbandry: thrift.
68. settled low content: A fine example of Shakespeare's
ability to put much into a few words. He intends to find humble employment and settle down in content. Again we find this
word which seems to be characteristic of Arden.
72. Here: Adam gives a last glance around. Is he sorry to
1. A remarkable scene. What opportunities do both actors
have? Which part would you prefer to take? Defend your
2. What method of revealing character is here used by Shakespeare?
3. "Who's there?" The first words in the scene indicate
what state of mind in Orlando and what conditions here at
4. What do you learn of both men?
5. Find the many fine figures of speech in this scene and comment upon them.
6. What lines are worth your learning?
7. To whom does the scene belong?
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. As You Like It. Eds. Samuel Thurber, Jr. and Louise Wetherbee. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1922. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/asu_2_3.html >.